The first ever debate tournament in Jordan just ended with quite a lot of excitiment. After the team from Amman-Hashmi found out they won the final debate over the team from Irbid, they burst into cheers and received a flurry of hugs and cheers from their friends and teammates.
The tournament, held at the Princess Basma Youth Resource Center, was conducted all in Arabic in the Karl Popper Debate format and featured teams from throughout Jordan. In addition to Hashmi and Irbid, debaters came from Aqaba, Zarqa'a, Amman-Khalda, Taibeh, Karak, and Sahab. In the morning the debaters considered whether Jordan's reservations to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) should be lifted. The afternoon topic centered on the relationship between tribal law and public law in Jordan. Each team debated each topic twice for a total of four debates.
The final round motion was (translated into English) was "The minimum age to run for the Parliament in Jordan should be 18". In the final debate, the team from Amman-Hahsmi, which went 3-1 in the preliminary rounds, narrowly beat the team from Irbid, which was 4-0 in the previous four debates, including a victory over Hashmi. More importantly, these 6 excellent debaters put forward their ideas to the honored guest for the final round, Jordan's Minister for Political Development. If the affrimative team convinced him enough, maybe we will soon see young people eligible to run for Parliament in Jordan! The top 5 individual speakers from the final round were also from the teams from Hashmi and Irbid.
With the group of smart and committed debaters and coaches in Jordan, we certainly expect to see more great things from the Debate Kingdom! Many thanks to Sireen, Enas, Murad Q., Murad K., Mahmood and Suha from the Princess Basma Youth Resource Center, Charlie and Kinda from the British Council Jordan, and of course all the debaters and judges.